The Top 5 Ways to Ruin a Virtual Meeting Experience

Post By Jenn Tontini

1. Conducting Your Event on a Do-It-Yourself Platform

It sounds great in theory – by conducting the program yourself, the price will be much cheaper. You’ve participated in a web conference before and you’ve seen the webcasts of your competitors. How hard could it possibly be to host your own virtual meeting? You acquire a great KOL, recruit a large number of attendees, promote your program, and then execute. Except the execution of the plan goes awry; slides stop moving, the KOL’s audio is breaking up and eventually you’re 15 minutes behind schedule. It’s in this moment that you understand why people pay for full service virtual meeting solutions rather than taking the DIY route. Regardless of the extra cash in your pocket, a DIY platform will always lack the quality of a polished, professional program.

2. Creating a Didactic, Text-Heavy Presentation

You have a 30-slide deck for your 40-minute presentation, chock-full of data points and pertinent information you want your attendees to remember. To ensure they retain the information, you decide to write down all of the key points within the slides. 15 minutes are allotted for the Q&A portion at the end of your presentation delivery. You ask the group, “Are there any questions?” and hear crickets. No one responds. You ask again, and a charitable attendee responds, “No, no questions.”

The problem with a text-heavy approach is that it lulls the audience into a state of passive listening. If you do not actively engage the audience, their attention wanders and the important points of the presentation are lost, regardless of how interesting the subject matter is. An engaging presentation is key. Talk with your participants and ask open-ended questions for specific and valuable feedback. A dull presentation will benefit no one. For more information on creating an active Q&A session, check out our infographic, ‘5 Easy Tips to Create An Active Q&A Session’ and be sure to read Speaker University – Part 1.

3. Using a Technology-Averse KOL

The expertise that KOLs provide regarding specific drugs is essential to pharmaceutical companies attempting to establish a market for that specific drug. Companies need the legitimacy and feedback they provide in order to compete. However, the transition into the digital age of medicine has created a high demand for more tech savvy KOLs. Their aversion to technology creates a road block to a virtual meeting that could have taken place in a timely manner and at one-tenth of the cost. The position of technology, especially in the healthcare arena, plays a major role as a cost reducer.

4. Choosing a Virtual Meeting Provider Based Only on Price

When you have a budget in place, you want to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your dollar. One obvious solution might be to find the cheapest virtual meeting provider and in turn have more meetings. Sure, virtual meeting vendors are available anywhere now, but not all platforms are of the same quality. Be on the lookout for conferencing services that are very cheap, or claim to be ‘free’. They’re more likely to come with hidden fees and lack features a more expensive service would have, such as polling capability, structured text, open chat, higher quality video, slide builds, security, or even customer support.

5. Choosing a Provider with Limited Virtual Meeting Experience

A provider with limited virtual experience is a disaster waiting to happen. Sometimes a virtual meeting runs into difficulties; internet connection is lost, an attendee can’t get connected, audio and video capabilities have stopped working, etc. The list is endless. An inexperienced provider may not be technologically equipped to address the problem, or even worse they simply do not know how to fix it due to lack of experience. Be aware of your provider’s history of service. You want to be sure that they are capable of handling the meeting, especially one of a larger size. Technical problems lead to frustration and ultimately an unpleasant virtual meeting experience for your client, possibly making them less inclined to work with you in the future.